For almost two decades, this volume of powerful teachings by the Dalai Lama has been available only in a French edition. Here translated into English for the first time, Essential Teachings presents the clear and practical wisdom of the world's most prominent Buddhist leader. "The Path of Bodhisattva" is a record of oral teachings given by the Dalai Lama to a gathering of Tibetan refugees and Western students in Bodh Gaya, India-the site of the Buddha's enlightenment and a pilgrimage center for Buddhists from all over the world. In his interpretation and commentary on a classic Tibetan Buddhist text, His Holiness illuminates thirty-seven practices for the cultivation of bodhichitta, the altruistic desire for enlightenment in order to help all beings. Speaking to his fellow Tibetans-in-exile with frankness, compassion, and insight, the Dalai Lama shows how these ancient practices based on nonviolence, compassion, and service to others are applicable to modern circumstances and conditions. In "The Key of Madhyamika," the Dalai Lama discusses the Buddhist principle of the Middle Way. Drawing on many important Tibetan texts, His Holiness leads the reader through a precise logical explanation of the fundamental Buddhist principles of nonduality and interdependence.
His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama is the temporal and spiritual leader of Tibet. Since his forced exile in 1959 when the Chinese military occupied Tibet, he has lived in Dharamsala, India, and travels worldwide to give teachings and to meet with world leaders in support of the struggle against the cultural, ecological, and spiritual destruction of Tibet. In 1989, the Dalai Lama became the first Buddhist leader to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
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About the Author
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of Tibet. He was born on July 6, 1935, to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in Taktser, Amdo, in northeastern Tibet. At the age two, the child, then named Lhamo Dhondup, was recognized as the reincarnation of the previous 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. He was formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama at a public declaration near the town of Bumchen in 1939. His enthronement ceremony as the Dalai Lama was held in Lhasa on February 22, 1940, and he eventually assumed full temporal (political) duties on November 17, 1950, at the age of fifteen, after the People's Republic of China's invasion of Tibet.
During the 1959 Tibetan uprising, the Dalai Lama fled to India, where he currently lives as a refugee. The 14th Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. He has traveled the world and has spoken about the welfare of Tibetans, environment, economics, women's rights, non-violence, interfaith dialogue, physics, astronomy, Buddhism and science, cognitive neuroscience, reproductive health, and sexuality, along with various Mahayana and Vajrayana topics.